When I told you last month about the new handmade directory, I talked about its ease of use and how it plays well on all devices. That's what drove me to make the change in the first place. About 30% of my site visitors drop in from phones and tablets, so this was a necessary upgrade. But, once I got into the project, it became clear to me just how cool this new directory is.
Let me give you a bit of Heartful history to put things in perspective: This blog was actually the genesis of the handmade directory. Heartful Village came to life in late 2007 as my store for original art cards (that's another story). But what I really wanted to do was to promote good handmade products and the people who make them. So handmade by artists .com came to life in late 2008 . . . followed soon after by the realization that it was totally inadequate for that purpose. Because blog posts are of the moment. Each new entry pushes the previous ones down on a path to eventual oblivion. And I wanted a way to make it easy for people to find people who make the things we use. So, after a bit of research, it became clear I needed to build a directory, and the directory needed a website. So I scooted the cards over to 100% Art (part of that other story) and started Handmade Lookup. And it soon became the heart of Heartful Village.
That key position got shaky, though, when the Shopping Portal came into the mix. Where Handmade Lookup is a directory of websites, the Shopping Portal is focused on individual products, exactly what shoppers are looking for. So it soon became as popular as Handmade Lookup, and I found myself with Heartful Village being split between the directory and the Shopping Portal. And, of course, the blog. And each had its own index. So I created a "Who's Here? index to pull it all together, but that solution was never ideal. Well, the New Handmade Lookup ties it all back together again. From the directory listings, I can now provide links all over the Village and beyond, and that includes social media links, too.
Take a look at this Handmade Lookup listing for Daphne Olive:
In addition to her website link, it also links to her products in the Shopping Portal, at Modern Artisans, and at Amazon. And all her social media links are there, too.
Now take a look at her corresponding Shopping Portal page:
Note that it includes a link to her full profile in the directory, where all of her other links can be accessed. This new improved listing capability has brought Handmade Lookup back to its rightful position at the heart of Heartful Village. Eventually, every artisan in the Village, whether in a blog post or at the Shopping Portal (or both), will have an entry in the directory. And all the other ways of finding an artist's products will be listed. Cool, huh?
Click the images to visit Daphne's pages live so you see for yourself how it works.